In ancient art from Europe to India a particular artistic motif frequently appears: a male or female figure grabbing two wild creatures, one in each hand. These are the Master and Mistress of Animals.
While Roman emperors were empowered to choose their own successor, the first emperor to actually be succeeded by his own natural-born son was Vespasian.
A New Year tradition from Scotland says the first person to enter your house in the new year dictates your fortunes for that year.
What is it about this time of year and the number twelve? In Spain and countries culturally connected to Spain, twelve grapes is a New Year tradition.
In 13th century northern Europe, groups of women formed their own autonomous religious communities. Neither nuns nor wives, the Beguines forged their own route through the strictures of Medieval life.
Early modern England had some creative property taxes: window, chimney, brick, and wallpaper tax. Early modern England also had some creative methods of tax avoidance: sealed windows, stolen chimneys, larger bricks, and plainer wallpaper.
The largest national park in the European Union is in South America.
Who rules the cats of England? Since at least the 1920s, 10 Downing Street has had an official cat: the Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office.
The glacier Okjökull in Iceland died in 2014.
Princess Anne and Prince Ludwig of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg liked flying and spying, respectively. Both disappeared under mysterious and separate circumstances.
King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden really wanted a big ship so he could dominate the Baltic. The Vasa was one of the most heavily armed ships in the world when it launched in 1628. But the same day it launched, it sank.
Around five million years ago, the Strait of Gibraltar closed and the Mediterranean dried up. When it reopened, the sea refilled in less than two years.
Leave it to the Norwegians and Swedes to take a way to call cattle in high mountain pastures and turn it into a genre of music.
Within the witch panic of Medieval Europe was a strange subset of trials that accused people of being both witches and werewolves.
Sergio Leone famously filmed Westerns in Italy and Spain, creating the genre known as the Spaghetti Western. But Soviet bloc countries had their own version too: the Red Westerns.